JJs Wine Bar, an upscale wine bar with a trendy edge, located in the heart of historic downtown Franklin, not only caters to wine enthusiasts, both novice and connoisseurs, but also those seeking cocktails and tasty fare.
While certainly JJs servers are attentive to a guest’s every need, this place is known for their unique and intriguing wine-dispensing machines, which offer guests 28 different types of wine by the glass. Dispensed in your choice of three different pour sizes, this system invites experimentation and exploration, with prices ranging from modest to high-end.
Owners, Jill Pittman and Lisa Judd became business partners in an unconventional, yet meaningful way. After pursuing her desire to start a business in downtown Franklin, Pittman opened JJs six years ago, with her sister-in-law Jessie and son Spencer, hence “JJs”. When Jessie made the move to become a full-time mom, and Spencer fulfilled his dream to be in law enforcement, Jill became the sole operator.
From opening day, Lisa Judd was one of JJs loyal customers, and it was through her frequent visits to JJs that she and Jill became fast friends. The friendship turned into a partnership of two local women, whose passion for community, wine and socializing is what makes JJs such an inviting and well-styled spot. The two joke and say that Pittman was looking for another “J” to fulfill the name; the rest, as they say ... is history ... in this historic, 114-year old building that JJs calls home.
Pittman, with a degree in business administration, and Judd with a background in sales and marketing, reign as the perfect partnership in the hospitality business. But it’s not all work and no play for these two, as you’ll often find them enjoying a glass of wine with many of their customers-turned-friends.
The writing is on the wall at JJs – literally; Judd and Pittman’s goal is well stated on the wall of their foyer: “May all who enter, leave as friends.” And they do.
Together they have taken this sweet spot on Main Street to new levels in the hospitality arena. Both women have a passion for cooking, so keeping an interesting menu of food is a given. Admittedly, though, they both prefer front-of-the-house roles where they can focus on customer service and interacting with their customers.
And they’re naturals.
Patrons have the option to sit inside, where the atmosphere is hip and the walls are adorned with artwork from local artists or they can sit outside on a lovely and cozy wrap-around porch, the best front porch … ever.
The porch alone is worth the trip. Wicker chairs surround the intimate tables. Traffic and people provide the views. There’s nothing like sitting on a front porch, and JJs capitalizes on this southern tradition. Step down from the porch, and you’ll find more seating on the small, yet lush lawn.
More tables with a view.
Open nightly, JJs offers a lovely addition to small-town night life.
“Guests include locals as well as tourists,” said Pittman. “They come in for a drink and appetizer before dinner at another downtown restaurant, or they eat dinner with us. Many stop in for or a nightcap and dessert after seeing a show at the Franklin Theatre, or attending a downtown event.”
In addition to the wine-dispensing machines, JJs offers a wide selection of vintages by the bottle.
“Our bottle list is extensive and offers many varietals, from both big-time wineries to smaller, boutique producers, spanning across the globe” stated Judd, who constantly updates the list. Their wines are all chosen from personal passion, according to Judd.
There’s also a wide selection of bottled beers, craft cocktails, and a full bar.
It’s not just about wine and cocktails; there’s great emphasis on the food. From appetizers, to dinner, to desserts, the menu encompasses a variety of bistro classics that are appealing and appetizing
While JJs is a nightly gathering spot, open Tuesday through Saturday, with a happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m., it’s also a fun place for special events.
“We have many private events, such as birthday gatherings, rehearsal brunches and dinners, surprise parties, reunions, bridal parties, business gatherings, and business luncheons, and lots of holiday parties,” says Judd. “We cater them all on site and we personally work with customers to plan their event.”
JJs also offers the option of private business brunches and luncheons during the day, for many of the local businesses, and they reserve Sunday and Monday for completely private events.
If you want to taste and learn about wines, JJs hosts tasting events throughout the year “And they fill up fast,” states Pittman, who organizes these fun and educational gatherings.
This very approachable and quaint spot has something for everyone.
JJs Wine Bar
206 East Main St.
Historic Downtown Franklin
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 4-11 p.m.
Happy Hour 4-6 p.m.